3 Home Business and E-mail Auto-Responder Tips

“It’s all about the list.” You’ve heard it a million times, but what does it mean to your business? Despite the SPAM laws, e-mail marketing is still an effective tool, one that can be harnessed by the use of auto-responders that can send multiple messages to each person who provides you with their e-mail address.

Tip #1: Only send your advertisements to people who have requested information from you.

By using a double opt-in method you insure that your customer is aware that they will be receiving information of a commercial nature from you periodically. The customer needs to fill in a form with their information (Name, e-mail address, etc) to have an e-mail sent to them with a link that needs to be clicked on to “activate” their account.

Many Internet “Gurus” offer something for free that the customer is willing to trade their information for. This could be an e-book, a coupon for a free item, or something that makes it a fair exchange in the customer’s mind.

Tip #2: Have your sales e-mails arrive at a set time in the future.

Some e-mail auto-responders will allow you to set up multiple messages in advance. The first message should contain information as to how the customer can receive their “free” item and should be sent immediately. It will also contain the activation code.

Don’t bombard your customer with dozens of e-mails in a single day. Set up your auto-responder to wait a day or two in between mailings.

Tip #3: Stagger your sales offers with useful information that the customer can use and is related to your market.

If you offer a free e-book about a marketing tool to get sign-ups, you would want to have several articles or an E-zine that has information related to marketing along with your commercial offers. If you only try to sell things to a customer, they will quickly opt-out. By offering information along with your commercial e-mails, you are building a relationship with your customer, which is one of the hardest things to do in the fast-paced electronic world of the Internet.

Don’t send unwanted e-mail. Set your e-mail messages to arrive every couple of days rather than all at once. And offer useful information related to your subject. Play fair with your customers and they will stay with you for a long time.

Building Your Coaching Business – Information Marketing – Lots of Clients

Here’s an answer to most of the problems experienced by coaches who are struggling to get more clients. Turn “no clients” or “few clients” into 20% to 70% of the people you touch giving you an appointment.

I do a lot of conference calls with struggling coaches. Here are the struggles that most coaches experience:

Typical Problems Experienced By Coaches

  • Can’t reach the decision maker – get sidetracked to HR and HR puts you in with ALL of the other coaches, consultants, trainers….you are a commodity in their view.
  • Can’t get the decision maker’s attention
  • When you do get to the decision maker, and they even seem somewhat interested, the bottom line statement is “Don’t have time,” “can’t afford that right now,” “I’ve got to keep my nose to the grindstone.”
  • Sending out pre-approach letters, but not getting any response.
  • Cold calling but not getting through, not getting returned calls from voice mail.

Do any of these sound familiar?

One Solution to That Problem

Here’s something that has been working extremely well with coaches I’ve worked with. Some have said they get 20% to 70% appointment setting rates when using this approach.

The first thing to note is to “stop selling” and “start helping.” Be an unlimited resource for everyone you touch, even if you touch them only once. You will become known as THE expert in that field, in your region.

First identify, your target market, if you haven’t already. Make that a narrow niche market. Even if you believe you can help the world, pick a narrow market for this approach and target the messages directly at them.

Send a letter to your target market that mentions that you’ve had significant results in ________ [name the target market], and then define a value statement around that. That means that you will indicate just how much impact you may have made on some people, or companies within that target market. Then tell them that you’d like to share some ideas that have worked with others like them, and will be sending them over the next few weeks.

Then, over 3-5 weeks, send them a printed article each week targeted to a specific problem in that industry. If you have been writing articles in an ezine, then you might also send them to that article online. It adds credibility when you can show that you are published, expert author.

At the end of 3-5 weeks, send a letter asking them how much value they got from your articles, and that you’d like to call some time to ask what they got from the article.

When you call, get them telling you just how much help that was. Ask them to put that into dollars and cents, or time saved. If they got any value at all, ask if you can set down with them over coffee to hear more about their business….

Notice, that at no time did I indicate I have anything to sell. This was all about helping them achieve their goals, and freely sharing information. The doors will be open…unless you go into the “sales” mode, at which time the door will slam in your face.

You have an appointment. Keep that appointment on “exploring their business” not on “selling.” This should get you setting down with 20% or more of your target audience.

What happens if you don’t get the appointment, but they did feel they had gotten some good information. Then ask if they’d like to continue receiving that kind of information. Add them to your newsletter, or email list for ongoing information. Many will find additional value from those emails. You will have another chance.

Upcoming articles:

  • We’ll discuss what to do and say in that meeting.
  • How to use that same approach, information marketing, in networking.

The Business of Marketing – How To Market Your Small Business By Using A Business Plan

No matter what business you are involved in, you must remember that you are first in the marketing business. Unless you let people know exactly what you do and how you do it, your business will be the best kept secret in the universe.

By thinking about your business in this way you put yourself in the enviable position of being able to create your business in the exact way that you intend. Every time someone asks you what you do you can refine your answer until it sounds and feels just right to you. In this way you can eliminate the parts of your business that you do not enjoy and do not bring you the most revenue, while increasing the parts that you are more passionate about and that bring you a higher return for the time and effort you put into them. Over a period of time your business will be exactly as you had originally hoped it would be when you started it up.

If you have been in business for many years you more than likely already have a business plan that you set up annually. For marketing purposes it is more effective to look at your business on a quarterly basis, deciding how to wish to embark on a new three month period of advertising, marketing, and goal setting.

By looking at the previous quarter’s goals, budget, efforts, and results you can make the necessary changes to your plan that will boost your bottom line. If one area of your marketing plan did not produce the results you had hoped for you can look more closely at it and see how and what you will need to change.

Having a plan is the first step to having success with marketing. Give yourself time to brainstorm ideas with your marketing professional and make decisions based on their recommendations as well as your experience and goals.